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Andrew Neil admits "rocky start" for GB News

Andrew Neil admits
Andrew Neil admits that his new news channel GB News had "a bit of a rocky start" and hails the station's loyal followers.

GB News chairman Andrew Neil has admitted that the channel got off to "a bit of a rocky start" but has hailed the service's encouraging early ratings figures.

The new station launched on June 13 with a lineup of discussion-led programmes rather than rolling news, as well as a commitment to reporting of local issues around the UK.

In its first fortnight GB News has been beset by technical problems but appears to have found a dedicated audience, even beating Sky News in the peaktime ratings during its first full week on air.

Talking at the end of his show tonight, Neil said: "Yes we had a bit of a rocky start with the launch of GB News - we're a start-up. They're always a bit rocky, these start-ups.

"But we are up and running as you can see. We get better every day and there's clearly an appetite for what we are doing.

"In under two short weeks, we've already built a loyal audience which has beaten all of our expectations. It's often bigger than the other news channels and it's growing.

"That's the real story about GB News to date - and you won't often read that in the papers.

"So on behalf of GB News, I say to all of our viewers: thank you. Thank you. Your support makes all of our hard work worthwhile. We won't let you down and you ain't seen nothing yet!"

GB News is available nationwide through all major TV providers and also plans to launch a live stream via YouTube in the coming weeks.

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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14161141
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Great BritainGreat Britain58821
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full